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Kid's College

By Susan W. Hixson - Posted Mar 1, 2005
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REPORT CARD
Overall Rating:5 Stars
Installation:A
Content/Features:A
Ease of Use:A
Product Support:A

Located online at http://www.learningthroughsports.com/.

Source: Learning Through Sports, 33 Inverness Center Place, Suite LL110, Birmingham, AL 35242; Phone: 866/552-9192; Fax: 205/980-8409; Internet: http://www.learningthroughsports.com/.

Access Fee: $4,500--annual subscription, school site, 200 students or more. $3,500--annual subscription for schools with less than 200 students. $5.95 each month, 6-month minimum--home version for one student.

Audience: K-8.

Format: Interactive online program.

Minimum System Requirements: A computer with Internet access.

Windows Systems: Windows 95/98/2000/XP, Internet Explorer 5.1, Netscape 7.0 or higher. Macintosh Systems: Macintosh 9.2 or higher, Internet Explorer 5.0, Netscape 7.0 or Macintosh OSX, Internet Explorer 5.2x, Netscape 7.2 or higher.

Because of the extensive graphics and the need for speed, the program is best run with high bandwidth, broadband, or ISDN, but will work with a dial-up connection.

Description: Kid's College is an online program designed to motivate students to practice skills and reinforce classroom activities. The program uses a sports theme to capture the students' attention and to encourage them to continue to answer questions and gain points.

Reviewer Comments:

Installation/Access: This online program requires no installation. When I logged in, I was prompted to download the Windows Media Player. I reviewed this product running Netscape, using a Macintosh with OSX.

The program's opening page offers a program demo, more information, or the program launch. The program begins with a log-in that includes a username and password.

Teachers can enter student names; student work may or may not be password-protected. The teacher can also set the assignments to be done. The Curriculum tab provides instructions on entering assignments for individual students or an entire class. Installation/Access
Rating: A

Content/Features: Kid's College is a skills- and standards-based program designed to motivate students to answer questions. The curriculum was developed by the Publishers Resource Group; all items have been reviewed by an independent panel of experts. The questions are classified by the standards of 41 states. Beginning in March, teachers will be able to download their own questions into the program.

As teachers set the curriculum, they examine the standards at different grade levels and view sample questions. The program covers the subject areas of math and language arts. One or both of the subjects can be selected for student work.

The teacher or administrator can customize sports team names, logos, and colors to match the school's teams. Many collegiate logos are also available for use.

When students log in, they select their name and the sports game they want to play. The choices include basketball, cheerleading, football, softball, or soccer. Each time the students complete a question, they get a chance to play their chosen sport.

The skill range is flexible and can be selected and adjusted for each student. The questions are presented in a multiple-choice format and are read aloud for the younger students. The teacher can set the instructions to be given in Spanish, but all of the questions are asked in English.

If a question is answered incorrectly, a window pops up with more information and prompts, and the student is asked to select a different answer.

Teachers have access to information about student progress. This detailed report sheet may be printed and used for future teaching and evaluation.

Motivation is the key to this program, which is designed to prepare students for high-stakes testing. The use of sports games between each question keeps students engaged in the learning for longer periods of time. Content/Features Rating: A

Ease of Use: Kid's College is very easy to use for teachers and students. Teachers will find the program setup and use to be easy and straightforward. Students have to make only a few choices to start earning points and awards. Ease of Use Rating: A

Product Support: A Quick Start Guide for Teachers provides tips to set up the program and make the best use of its many features. A professional development template offers 15 pages of tips for making the program more effective. Phone support is available at 205/980-8594. E-mail support is offered at customersupport@learningthroughsports.com. The company is developing plans to share classroom success stories. Product Support
Rating: A

Recommendation: I was delighted and impressed with Kid's College. The program's features make it easy for teachers to select the specific skills and standards to be practiced. The detailed student progress report is a powerful feature.

Kid's College also can be used effectively in after-school programs and as homework for students who can work online from home.

Students learn more when they are motivated; the integration of sports is one way to create that spark. I highly recommend Kid's College to motivate and reinforce student learning as your class gets ready for state tests. Highly Recommended.

Reviewer: Susan W. Hixson, Educational Consultant, Phone: 480/837-7803; swhixson@yahoo.com.


 
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